The inaugural National Clean Energy Summit was held in Las Vegas 10 years ago. During that 10 years, the nation’s energy landscape has changed dramatically. New technologies have changed the way Americans use, generate, and even store energy. Transportation has gotten greener and cleaner. Evolving economics have given people and businesses more access to renewable energy.
As we convene the ninth National Clean Energy Summit: Integrating Innovation, we reflect on those changes. Here’s a glimpse of where we are today:
- The U.S. generates nearly eight times as much electricity from the sun and the wind as it did in 2007—enough to power more than 25 million homes with improvements made via:
- Wind Growth:
- The U.S. produced almost 7 times as much wind-powered electricity in 2016 as in 2007 and wind’s share of the national electricity generation increased from 0.8 percent to 5.5 percent.
- In 2009, the price for wind energy was more than 7 cents/kilowatt-hour, and today, wind energy averages 2 cents/kWh in certain regions.
- Solar Growth:
- The U.S. produced 43 times as much electricity from solar in 2016 as in 2007.
- Just last year, the U.S. industry installed enough new solar capacity to provide 2 million homes’ worth of electricity.
- In 2016, Nevada installed more solar power than any previous year and is now 4th in the nation for solar production.
- Solar power prices in Nevada have declined 64% over the past 5 years.
- Wind Growth:
- Between 2008 to 2015, the cost of land-based wind energy fell by 41 percent; the cost of onsite and rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) by 54 percent; the cost of utility-scale PV by 64 percent; the cost of home energy storage batteries by 73 percent; and the cost of LED light bulbs fell by 94 percent.
- In just one year (2014-2015), total utility-scale solar capacity in the U.S. grew 43%.
- In 2035, LED’s are projected to make up over 85% of all lighting in the US.
- There has been a meteoric rise in sales of electric cars—from virtually none in 2007 to nearly 490,000 EVs on the road as of August 2016.
- The average American uses 10 percent less energy than he or she did 10 years ago.
“Renewables on the Rise; A decade of progress toward a clean energy future,” a report by Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center available at
“Revolution…Now,” a US DOE report available at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/09/f33/Revolutiona%CC%82%E2%82%ACNow%202016%20Report_2.pdf
“Solar Spotlight Nevada,” a report by Solar Energy Industries Association available at